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SILVERSTONE AUCTIONS REVIEW – BIRMINGHAM NEC

SILVERSTONE AUCTIONS REVIEW – BIRMINGHAM NEC

Posted by Glenn Rowswell on 30th November 2017

SILVERSTONE AUCTIONS, NEC, BIRMINGHAM, 11-12TH NOVEMBER 2017

A 1980 Mk2 Ford Escort RS2000 drew gasps of incredulity when it clocked a world record £97,875 on the big screen at the Silverstone Auctions stand at the NEC during the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show weekend. A 1996 Ford Escort Cosworth Lux flew to £91,125, another record buster, while a 1988 Sierra Cosworth RS500 became the second example this year to break into six figures, fetching £112,500 – just shy of the previous record set by the same auction house back in July.

“The success of these cars proved once again that exceptional cars sell for exceptional prices,” said Nick Whale, MD of Silverstone Auctions who introduced the cars for sale from the rostrum. “These Fords were unique, had fantastic histories and provenance and really were the finest examples of their respective marques and models. The Mk2 Escort in particular was a simply unrepeatable car – there’s just nothing else like it!”

Although both the sale rate, at nearly 70% for the two days, and the just over £3.5m gross spent by buyers this year were down on last year’s sale, the record prices paid for a brace of fast Fords and a Reliant three wheeler were nonetheless encouraging for the collector vehicle market as a whole.

Silverstone NEC auctions

A world record £97,875 gross was paid for an almost certainly unrepeatable Ford Escort RS2000 with a mere 900 miles from new in 1980.

Silverstone NEC auctions

This 1968 Reliant Regal in tatty ‘Trotters Independent Trading Co’ livery had been employed in only one ‘Only Fools and Horses’ promo before being applauded by the NEC Show auction crowd for fetching £41,625.

Silverstone NEC auctions

First Chris Evans and then Sir Chris Hoy had owned this 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia DCT which was hammered away for £137,250 to more applause.

Silverstone NEC auctions

Once the wheels of choice for the late Eric Morecambe, this Jensen Interceptor Mk1 made a well over retail £95,625.

Silverstone NEC auctions

A 1960 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk1 BMC Team Rally ‘evocation’ had been consigned for auction by former Dragon’s Den panelist Theo Paphitis. Estimated at £40,000-£48,000, the Big Healey pulled a bullish £60,750.

Silverstone NEC auctions

How times have changed. For although a 1956 XK Developments restored 1956 Jaguar XK140 sold for a more than top estimate £95,625, the Drophead Coupe version was overtaken by two Fast Fords from the 1980s.

Silverstone NEC auctions

Still substantially original and well preserved after some 6000 miles total mileage from new in 1988, this Sierra Cosworth RS500 earned more applause for achieving £112,500, a near record for a road one.

1996 Ford Escort Cosworth

Another world record price breaker was a 1996 Ford Escort Cosworth Lux with just 837 miles which clocked £91,125 with premium.

Silverstone NEC auctions

The current market clearly laps up low-mileage, few-owner minters. This 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo S1 with super-detailed engine bay was a 17,769-mile stunner which raised £44,432 under the Silverstone gavel.

Silverstone NEC auctions

Another former concours winner with 90 trophies to prove it was a 1989 Escort XR3i upon which some £75k had been lavished. A new owner acquired it for £27,000 with premium here.

Silverstone NEC auctions

Stored for a decade hence the 46,806 total mileage, a really tidy 1983 Fiesta XR2 generated much interest during viewing and duly sold for £22,500 – £2500 more than the auctioneers’ guide.

Silverstone NEC auctions

A Ford Escort XR3i Cabriolet had been subjected to less than 11,000 miles of wear and tear in the hands of one owner since new in 1989 and was bought by the second owner for £16,313.

Silverstone NEC auctions

Another low-mileage gem at the NEC was a 1988 Range Rover EFI with 5500 authenticated mileage by one previous owner and the vendor. The buyer, the third owner, thought it worth parting with £42,750.

Silverstone NEC auctions

With only delivery miles on the clock from new in 1981, this unregistered MGB LE Celebration was hotly contested by four telephone bidders until eventually selling for £31,375

The Silverstone Charity Auction
The Silverstone Auctions sale is always one of the highlights of the NEC show and this year the opening two lots had particular significance for us here, since we’ve followed their builds over the past year in our sister title Classics Monthly. Built as part of Lancaster Insurance’s #ClassicRumble charity challenge, the two cars were very different but proceeds from both were being sent to charity.

Silverstone NEC auctions

Lot one was an Escort XR3i Cabriolet picked by familiar TV personality Mike Brewer and restored by Cross Street Garage in Swindon under the auspices of Ford restoration supremo Blokie. We’ve seen first-hand the immense amount of work which went into the car and it was gratifying to see the bidding shoot up from an opening £3400 online bid to £10,000 from an onsite bidder in just 20 seconds, reaching £15,000 just 10 seconds later. Less than a minute after the sale opening, it was at £19,000 with a last-minute push seeing it sell for a nice round £20,000.

Silverstone NEC auctions

After this, fellow Wheeler Dealers host Ant Anstead had his work cut out to reach a similar figure with his scratch-built 1950s-inspired single-seater. Sitting on a custom made chassis with an offset propshaft driving a TR7 rear axle and powered by an MX-5 engine, it’s a unique piece of work. As we witnessed at a test session recently, it’s also pretty quick and the finishing touch is the ‘patinated’ finish courtesy of a film prop specialist.

Silverstone NEC auctions

Bidding began with an online buyer at £8500, rising to £12,000 just four bids and one minute later, jumping then to £17,000 and selling eventually for an identical £20,000 to the hammer price on Mike’s Escort.

Silverstone NEC auctions

So it was an honourable draw then? Not quite, it seems: the evening before the sale, proprietor of Cross Street Garage in Swindon where the bulk of the work had been done had generously ripped up the invoice, leaving the original £5000 budget free and ensuring that #TeamMike emerged the winner. Well, that’s what Mike said…

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